How These Great American Cities Got Their Names

There are interesting stories behind many American city names. Let’s take a trip down the corridors of history to learn these stories of US city names.


In the early 1840s, Atlanta was known as Marthasville in honor of the daughter of former governor Wilson Lumpkin. The name ‘Atlanta’ was said to have been coined by J. Edgar Thomson, chief engineer of the Georgia Railroad in 1847. The reason for this name remains obscure though. While some claim that Martha Lumpkin’s middle name was Atalanta, others say he named the city for the Greek goddess of athleticism. There is a third theory which claims that Thomson only used a part of his original idea which was ‘Atlantica-Pacifica’.


Like so many other cities in New England, the original colonists named the city after their hometown. The city of Boston, MA is a namesake for the city of Boston, Lincolnshire, England. But the original city of Boston, England is very dissimilar to its New World cousin, in that it is a small city with a population barely touching 60, 000.

5 U.S. Cities That Renamed Themselves Something Unusual

We don’t know if this is what gives the town mayor the jollies or that cities just get bored of a sane-sounding name but many a time cities and towns do rename themselves to something strange. Here is a list of some cities who underwent a renaming to transform into a quirky avatar just to get more attention.

  1. Truth or Consequences

Located in New Mexico, this quaint little town was once known as Hot Springs, New Mexico. The reason the town legally went through a renaming because the classic game show Truth or Consequences claimed it would choose its broadcasting location based on the first town that names itself after the show.

  1. Google

Among towns with strange names is Google in Kansas. Formerly known as Topeka, the town was enticed by the

Baby Names Inspired by Places

These days, place names are the biggest trend in baby name inspiration. Parents often consider names of cities, states, countries and vacation spots as baby names if they associate the place with happy memories.

Here’s a look at some popular names that are being chosen as baby names by many parents.


While you might consider this name for people with a bit of nostalgia for their ancestral continent, this might come as striking news. This name has existed in Europe since the Medieval Era as a Celtic queen from Scotland was known as Affrica. In Spanish-speaking regions, Affrica is used to denote ‘pleasant’. This is one of the baby girl names that has been around since 1421.


A unisex name that originated from the Native American people living in the northern Mississippi valley. This name was very popular in the nineties as a western place-name for a child. The actress Dakota Fanning is most well-known as a feminine example of this name.


One of the first place names that spelt exotic and stylish in England. Gone with the Wind featured a character called India and the royal ex-model India Hicks is one of the most famous people to have this name. It was one of the most dominant baby name inspired by a place in the US in 2013.


The capital of the United Kingdom definitely is one of the cities that is being used to name both girls and boys. In fact, it has beaten Paris in popularity as one of the most favored names.


Home of the ancient Greek gods, Mount Olympus, along with the Olympic Games inspires this sporty, goddess-y name. A worthy opponent to the well-worn Olivia. Former Maine Republican Senator Olympia Snowe and actress Olympia Dukakis are modern bearers of this noble name.

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Cities That Underwent a Name Change

In the past decade, many cities in India were renamed. Why? This is because India was ruled by the British for 200 years and they had anglicized most of the cities’ names. India renamed her cities back to the original names to honor the country’s heritage.

Here are some cities from all over the world that have been renamed for various reasons.

Bombay is now Mumbai

The capital city of Maharashtra was known as Manbai during the Middle Ages. The origins of the name Bombay is still in dispute. Some claim that the English corrupted the name Mumbai, which is derived from the goddess Mumbadevi who is associated with the city.

Weird and Wonderful Town Names in the U.S.

America is a big country so most definitely it has so many little nooks and crannies that may or may not even show up on a map. But hidden away in corners of the country are United States cities that have odd names which must be surely a challenge for the residents to explain where they live.

Here are some weird town names with the names of the states supplied in parentheses.

For example, if you are feeling particularly Carefree (AZ) today, follow the yellow brick road to Magic City (ID) where anything can happen. Or, if you wish to spend time in Happyland (CT) or Smileyberg (KS), you are sure to meet Lovely (KY) and Friendly (WV) people who ask you What Cheer (IA).

Mapping Britain’s Rude Place Names

Strumpshaw, Tincleton & Giggleswick’s Marvellous Map of Great British Place Names is a must-buy if you want your travel itinerary to include a few cheeky places on your trip to Britain.

This Marvellous Map is a guide to places like Bastard’s Lane, Skinner’s Bottom and Ding Dong. Yes, these are very much real places in Great Britain. A closer look at the map will show you a whole bunch of funny place names that include Little Butts and Devil’s Frying Pan.

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